While Mississippi issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples, it still bans same-sex couples from adopting.

Today, the Campaign for Southern Equality, the Family Equality Council and four Mississippi same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the ban. 

“The Mississippi Adoption Ban writes inequality into Mississippi law by requiring that married gay and lesbian couples be treated differently than all other married couples in Mississippi, unequivocally barring them from adoption without regard to their circumstances or qualifications as parents,” the complaint reads. “As a consequence, the equal dignity of hundreds of families and thousands of children in Mississippi is disrespected and the significant and concrete rights, benefits, and duties that come with legal parentage are denied.”  

Famed attorney Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued United States v. Windsor against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, is the lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Kaplan also represented two plaintiff couples last year, arguing that Mississippi’s marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution.  U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down the ban in November 2014. 

Kaplan also joined HRC earlier this year as the author and lead counsel on The People’s Brief, a historic effort to give every American a chance to share their support of marriage equality with the Supreme Court of the United States.

According to The New York Times, the ban is the only one of its kind in the United States.

As agencies across the U.S. continue to expand their engagement with LGBT foster and adoptive parents, HRC's All Children - All Families (ACAF) project is a great resource to them. ACAF provides resources and staff training on how to best create a welcoming environment for LGBT individuals and couples who are interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents.

Click here to learn more about adoption, foster care, foster parenting and LGBT-inclusive agencies.

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